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tv   [untitled]    July 21, 2011 8:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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he said i was just in washington and people in washington tell me that they're concerned about your tone welcome to the mainstream media establishment or apparently outsiders just are accepted anymore so what does it's a mole. and a land of the free but the home of the not so free press we'll speak to one journalist who served the longest time in prison and often said from his sources the reason newark is facing budget cuts is because of a crash that was created manufactured distributed by wall street plus a cause and a fact is newark new jersey a symbol of what's ahead for other american cities if so they may have
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a long string of thanks. good evening it's thursday july twenty first eight pm in washington d.c. i'm christine friends out there watching our take. i want to start out this evening by talking about the role of journalism in our society and journalists at least in america are supposed to be the ultimate form of checks and balances the buck stops with us right now i can tell you when i was in jail or getting my masters at a very prestigious university known for being one of the best journalism schools in the country we were of words and said words like fourth estate public service government fact checker well it turns out when it comes to the mainstream media journalists seeking proof telling are defecting as the caliber of some of these networks continues to crumble r.z.
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correspondent lauren lyster looks at the formula that is driving networks racing to the bottom that it's all about some of today's news for the story it's the story behind the story i was like whoa the editorial mission driving the mainstream news cycle and i just kind of sat back i was like wow this is it this is the speech played by the rules instructions coming straight from the top he said i was just in washington and people in washington tell me they're concerned about your tone recently departed and that's n.b.c. anchor jane describes the talking to he alleges came from the head of the cable news network the talking to that drove him to leave the station he said i love to be an outsider outsiders are cool but we're not we're insiders. we are those steps former insiders and analysts we interviewed say it's this way of thinking and the mainstream t.v. media that leads to a twenty four hour news cycle filled largely with
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a c n n eight the woman accused of killing her two year old little girl you would know if this is your underpants we now learn maria demanded he move i'll have. a purse coverage that an m.s.m. defector says it's cost stations their literate audience and credibility what are the mainstream television news and particulars are not better are just wasting your time with casey anthony story with anthony weiner's wiener it's become a national joke a national joke that protects ad revenue and political currency unlike more hard hitting stories they would be stories that are big corporations and big political power and that's why they're not covered it could explain why the politicians become fair game only on the way down when everyone's covering it maybe this is a theory is right it could explain why more reporters haven't covered for example a secret prison in somalia run by the cia journalist jeremy scahill exposed secrets
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and says several other american reporters know about it too instead this was the response to his story in the case of c.n.n. didn't even mention my report and just basically reprinted a press release from the cia saying that you know they were just assisting the somali government it could explain why networks aren't redoubling their efforts to cover hard hitting stories instead fresh off the successful ratings of the casey anthony trial you have a network like a.b.c. hiring former kidnapping victim elizabeth smart to cover missing children stories i mean it is likely playing out and said we need to get enormous entrepreneur in this little girl stories so that's what they're going to do and that is going to be a cost to other stories taking away from stories that affect people on a greater scale from jobs to inequality. poverty wars and police brutality. meanwhile you have national celebrities filling the spots of journalists and we are so glad now to be joined by a listener and journalist filling the spots of celebrities when cnn's anderson
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cooper tweeted this photo it quickly turned to fodder for hollywood gossip blogs shorts and anger admitting he had a child with a staff member the direction seems to be heading ever further in the direction of sensational and tabloid which docs news corps scandal is any indication could backfire you're going to lose ratings you're going to lose viewers and you know ultimately you may be you may find yourself under investigation networks that pledge to lean forward or claim to be fair and balanced or they call themselves the most trusted name in news they get back there's leaving to find an independent outlet if they want to try to live up to those moderate was laura lester washington d.c. well certainly when you see all these examples it becomes clear that the time is ripe to talk about this they've called on is an emmy award winning news producer and is working now as a communications director for free press an outspoken proponent for media
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independence of corporate influence i spoke to him earlier and asked him how he sees the media landscape right now take a listen. like you i went to journalism school and like you i'm sure i did it because i had a very strong feeling about the importance of good media good journalism and democracy people need to know what's going on what you don't know can hurt you what you don't know can't kill you we know this to be true and i went to school because i wanted to expose those stories and after a long in at the risk of sounding modest chris successful career i would chose to walk away because i was no longer proud of what i was doing every day i was required to do one thing that would made me embarrassed or ashamed or give me an example of something that made you not proud of i won't name the station but i was working at a local local station in los angeles where we had footage of a highway patrol officer who after a pierced pursuit had a suspect face down on the ground kicked him in the head turned around steadied
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himself and kicked him in the head again i was outraged by that i was very upset by that and i said to the executive producer we really need to play up this story she said no we don't. and i said well whitewashing a clear case of police brutality she said ok if you want to call it that that's what we're doing but we're not going to do that story that seems a little bit outrageous i mean more than a little bit rao you know i want to go back to this report that we just showed that argue correspondent lauren lyster did it brought up the case. just in the last you know day or so we found out that he there was sort of a mutual decision i guess but he chose to walk away from his role and i must understand i want to play a little bit more of what he had to say about that decision sure the point of the show was trying to tell me that's what we're supposed to do and we're supposed to challenge the government and that's the role the media so i stuck to that and i hope i made the right decision. the point of the show jenks there is truth telling
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and i know it you know we had jane on as a guest for months and months and months before he got the gig at amazon d.c. and that's what we liked about him he did not mince his words he was just out there and that got him into trouble what's your reaction to that. not terribly well were appointed and i respect the way that he's presented himself i don't always agree with with what he's. politically but he always speaks with conviction and with honesty and there's precious little room for that sadly enough in the mainstream media. but hold on that i mean because i watched the entire kind of rant that he went off of there and he says you know the numbers prove it when he started acting more like himself when he stopped acting sort of like a congressman or a senator as he was originally asked to do his ratings kept going up so cancer be argued that the networks should do what the viewer is not and clearly the viewers
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want somebody to tell the truth. absolutely you know what i have also been a journalism professor and i you know i told my students that. the public has a very keen b.s. detector they know when you're not giving them the full story and a big problem with what's happening in traditional commercial media now is that they're so afraid of offending anybody that they're not actually telling you anything if the republicans say it's black in the republican say it's what the democrats say it's white and the reporter comes out and says g.o.p. says black democrats say white i'm done well that's not that's one of them is obviously not telling the truth or is farther away from the truth than the other and if you're not making that decision for them as a general making that analysis as a journalist you're adding nothing to the story you're just sort of repeating what somebody else said as opposed to actually doing your own digging and sort of making connecting from dots you have to be able to see it some point. either it's closer
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to black or it's closer to white or you're simply a stenographer i know that i've heard the excuse time and time again that here we live in a time when this wasn't always the case but we live in a time with twenty four hour cable networks and these networks have a lot of time to fill so they have to do the shark attacks or these kidnappings but it seems to me i mean i think back to the case of anthony weiner and you know again this wasn't a story that was one of many stories this was a story that filled out filled up the majority of programming certain days so why can't they do it all why can't these networks say you know what yeah the kidnapping story sells the commercials or whatever but let's also think in some good stuff. money the bottom line is always comes down to money you know the paradigm example i used with my students as a journalism professor was if you've got a story of a county health care budget and it's been cut and that that decision is going to affect tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people in that county. if
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you've got a liquor store robbery where the owner was shot. which story are you going to cover well if you say if you want to do the health care story you've got to spin dozens if not more man hours analyzing that finding out where the money went and if you come up with a story that explains why dots so important to your audience you've got to come up with pictures. as my first news director said t.v. without pictures is radio and nobody listens to the radio i was communications director for the free press. and for a different take i spoke to someone who actually works for an alternative news outlet and aryan is with the young turks which is arguably the largest online news show in the world she told me that it is disappointing to know that sex and scandal are much more widely covered than wars and politics but there are other ways for people the public to get real news. i did it discouraging is definitely sufficient wise media there is an audience out there for it because it is very simple to
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produce those types of news stories but it's discouraging because people aren't getting informed on the issues that are that are important and that the issues that actually affect them on a daily basis now in terms of american does the situation in libya directly affect that no but there should be more coverage on the economy there should be more coverage on what's really going on in washington rather than whether or not casey anthony killed her daughter whether or not anthony wiener tweeted his picture that kind of stuff is just sensationalism i see it as yellow journalism it's not something that is important to people and it's discouraging to see so much coverage on it on a daily basis i mean the war in libya may not directly affect americans but neither does casey casey anthony i think that international policies and defense spending certainly does have an impact on people here taxpayers to see where their money's going you know there's been a lot of talk lately and i know in the past young turks of touched upon this about
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what happens when mainstream media hosts don't play by the rules i know looking way back phil donahue highly rated show with canceled in the start of the iraq war days because he was outspoken in his tough questioning of the war i know jesse ventura's says his show with m m s n b c was also canceled because he opposed the war what's going on here with these rules i mean who in your opinion is making them and why after so long are journalists for the most part willing to follow them. you know in terms of who makes the rules i think that you know it could be executive producers it could be news directors it could be the head of these networks it's different in each situation in my opinion but the overall reason why this happens is because who do networks want to appease who does the mainstream media want to appease well i would say that yeah we're. the i would you would you think it would be you would think you'd be the viewer but i think that the overall goal for the media right now
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is to profit i mean they're constantly worried about ratings why are they worried about ratings because in the advertising department or in the sales department those ratings need to be presented to advertisers and if you are cut based think that if you cover stories that are important stories on libya stories on the economy that americans aren't going to buy they want to sensationalism they're going to focus on the sensationalism and if they think that's going to bring in the money in the ratings then that's what they're going to cover and i think that that's discouraging and i think they're wrong i think they're wrong on that point i want to talk to really briefly about the business of news fox is of course a very successful example they are a money making machine they are not fair and balanced as they say they know they're not fair and balanced but they have a business model and it's working for them let me ask you this you're a member of what you could maybe call the alternative media do you think that the alternative media has the potential to be successful as
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a business or will it simply never be. i think it does have a potential to be successful i consider the young turks alternative media all the way and the reason why we're successful is because we're funded by our members a huge chunk of our funding comes from people who pay us monthly for our content and you know people say that's a difficult thing to achieve except it's really not i mean if you cover news stories that people find important they're willing to pay for those news stories and they're going to pay for the content so what happens is if we are doing news that our audience finds important and we do that on a daily basis they'll continue paying us each month as members if they start to look at our content they say they're slipping up we're not interested all of a sudden our membership drops and then we have to wake up and we have to figure out what we're doing wrong i think that's the business model that holds the media accountable and also provides news coverage to the audience that the audience
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actually cares about and wants and i was and i can spar in both the young turks and it's not just journalists in this country are asked to tone it down my tank was in many cases they're fired and in still other cases are put in jail you're not you know i remember hearing about josh was he was twenty four years old and was arrested for refusing to turn over a video he had shot at a g. eight protest in san francisco back in two thousand and five star spent two hundred twenty six days behind bars more times than any journalist in u.s. history for protecting his source now since his release he has remained a constant symbol for the many many of the injustices and the lack of freedom of the press and he's now here on our t.v. because how his story investigative journalist josh wolf and our josh i know it's it's been a few years but give us the nuts and bolts of your story and how it has since played out. so basically i started with
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a video blog domain protests in san francisco bay area started with anti-war demonstrations but covering at least brutality in the other various issues and i found one protest that resulted in a police officer being injured now i didn't see any of that incident at all but. what i was subpoenaed by the f.b.i. who are to appear in front of a grand jury and not only turn over the video that i had released yet but also turn but also testify about who was there that i knew and obviously there was concerns about doing that i try to have the subpoena aquash that was unsuccessful and book what's called the reporter's privilege which is in essence saying that reporters should have to testify about the material that they gathered because it basically turns them into an arm of the government at that point in time and this
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is an exception all. told in court in forty nine states prostitutes columbia in some way or another but in federal court you were very very limited in how you can invoke the reporter's privilege and it was eventually sent tsui federal detention center in northern california where he stayed for about seven months wow. you know it's really interesting because i when i was a young cub reporter back in savannah georgia we have the g. eight in sea island back in two thousand and four i covered a protest the story aired and within moments there was a knock on our door from a you know members of the homeland security department who wanted to know more about somebody that i interviewed a protester who actually was like making peanut butter and jelly sandwich as they wanted to know where he was and they wanted to see the rest of the video as well luckily though and i know this happened has happened in the case of many other news organizations my kind of higher ups backed me up and said no we don't give away our raw video it's different though for freelance journalists i know that you i think
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at the time were working independently i know a lot of journalists who go to try to cover the war independently without being imbedded run into some can some problems because they're working on their own talk a little bit about that and how you know sometimes it does help to have you know a large company fighting for you but it doesn't always get the right story out we're going to have been good in the international war coverage and all but i certainly am aware of the fact that if you're not going to embed the cost of doing reporting in a war zone like iraq again it's and it's under these tremendous because you have to write your own security you have to write a translator and you have to i mean it's like a multimillion dollar operation and that's why we're only seeing stuff from behind the green zone where they don't have to have that sort of expense or embedded reporting and then when you are embodying you have this situation where you're expected to. you know these are guys that are protecting your life and that's going
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to shape the relationship and that's going to shape your reporting totally i want to get back to your situation a little bit here because we do have you here. in a country that promotes free press free speech and yet you spent time in jail a lot of time i wondering if this was just a sign of the times five years ago or if you think this is something that could still happen today i mean immediately after i was released from jail i started teaching for a federal shield law that was broadcast that included. video bloggers independent journalists freelancers etc and there was some progress that was made unfortunately it doesn't look like the climate is right for all right now there is a lot of blow up following the wiki leaks situation obviously. so it definitely could happen i know that there's a journalist by the last name of rise and who's potentially facing the same situation i was about source material certainly wasn't
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a protest that he was covering that point in time. so it definitely can still happen the culture of force of keening journalists seems like it may have changed a little bit but there's definitely those vulnerabilities and even in covering protests you see that u.c. berkeley where i just graduated from the journalism school i was faced with student conduct charges that hung over my head for eighteen months wow wow just covering it very very interesting and yet those protests we need people covering them to really understand where the rage is in this country thanks so much for speaking with us investigative journalist josh wolf. let's talk now about the economy as that ceiling talks continue here in washington d.c. i want to also look at that is a little bit further away from the political bubble are some places so far gone that they need an enormous jolt to be saved and are the symbols of worse things to
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come are they going to sofya charkha as the story. comes abandoned and haunted by poverty crime and uncertainty about tomorrow business is long out of luck on desolate streets all in the big apple's backyard just a quick cry from manhattan i feel like we're living in a. kind of a bad dream where everybody has amnesia i mean here's your living in the shadow of wall street the reason new york is facing budget cuts is because of the crash that was created manufactured distributed by wall street new jersey's largest city being unemployment at around ten percent nearly one in four families are living below the poverty line. here in france lies a school bus driver twenty eight he has little holes for the future is really nobody's. going to go out but he did they say.
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they need to try a bag of mines to go back up it was the same story newark is notoriously crime ridden despite its hard truth thirteen percent of the police force have been laid off due to a budget crisis high ranking officials in the police department resisted pay cuts so jobs went out the window they voted for layoffs and so they kept their salaries but a lot of the new york had to shrink its police force mortars went out by more than fifty percent compared to the scene period last year as a result with locals protecting themselves the best way they know how like kerry and. probably and i believe now ruth shooting down beings broadly. and carjackings are a big part of life in newark this is a right. this. is why all. throughout the city drug gang rivalry is a major cause of violence locals tell us that this is one of many areas in newark
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where people come to buy and sell drugs crime has become such a big part of daily life here that much of the unlawfulness goes unnoticed and under reported on the day archie was in the city several shootings took place one person died over a dozen were wounded some see the situation is so out of control that a few police officers still on payroll just start trying to say. don't do nothing for them. so just my house even says priorities have to change in newark she wants to leave the town and move away from all the drama if somebody like make a. big with. the people they need to really take off the streets. and increasing crime isn't the only result of service costs edward hernando's works in a pantry that has run out of funding it can't provide food to those in need anymore
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we've been told for years that in about two years we should be out of this recession and so you see in about two more years we should be out of this recession it doesn't buy least at this level it doesn't seem like it's changing it is getting worse as shelters experience hits to their budgets homelessness is visible in the city but those that caused the financial have moved on people are forgetting that the financial crisis actually caused. cutbacks that we're facing today and in a place like new york having to suffer more is really a crime that's the crime. decades ago the work was booming but this is no longer. i'm not likely to change without a shift in political will i'm kind of mad that the pilot says no and only with this post of the governor christie for more example he doesn't really say he is the one being but he doesn't totally opposite this is madison avenue in new york. and this
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is madison avenue in new york across the river from the big apple the city is barely staying afloat especially turkey r.t.e. newark new jersey. all right the newark of course a prime example of what can happen to cities in this country and their help was more examples that illustrate the important parts of the system that just isn't working for more earlier i spoke with karl denninger with the market sector i asked him how there can be such a large disparity between the bustling streets of the big apple and that wasteland that is right across the river new york spin a very horse city for a long time i traveled through there are twenty years ago when the dick cheney was very obvious even at that point this actually what's happened in these sorts of metropolitan areas. cities have taken on more and more obligations without any reasonable way to fund them and eventually you get a wall which is what is now happening to work and so you are faced with not being
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able to make the payments to provide those essential services and they have to be cut back. i mean really interesting and of course carol here we are based in washington and there's so much talk about what will happen if we don't raise the debt ceiling our about defaulting and what this country will look like well guess what this country looks like that in certain areas in many areas in fact what do you think of this is kind of angle magic of our on a larger scale. it's a question of making promises that you can't cheat. the elected officials who are always prompted to make promises various constituencies but they're not held to account for all its fiscal sustainability of what they say they're going to do and we're running into a knowledge of national over with yet silly debate regardless of how that gets resolved i doubt it is going to see anything in terms of long term fiscal sustainability that's going to actually or. who will we get through this in the
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washington d.c. chase for today probably vote in the longer term you know medium term you're going to have more new works. you know i heard what you said about a lack elected officials not being held to account it's really hard to disagree with that but i think that there's so much more i mean look let's look at wall street let's look at a lot of things and perhaps they do tiger elected officials but there are a lot of other factors here in terms of who's to blame when she say. you know i think it's fair you have to look at the. it's not just a you know i want to play the wealth disparity card but at the end of the day if you were to tax all of the wealth of the top three five percent of americans you closed the debt problem the deficit some two hundred billion of one point seven trillion dollars for one year but then all of the money would be gone and the next year would come along you'd still have a seven hundred billion dollars deficit and unfortunately all the rich aren't rich
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anymore so we have to have a change in priorities and look at things from a different perspective what is it that we can actually write look is it that we want to government to do for us in this country and what are we willing to pay taxes to support and some where those things have to be because they haven't the last thirty years and this is the result i mean i think that's a question karl that a lot of people and especially politicians from both sides of the aisle are asking the problem is they're not getting a unified answer you mention just a little while ago at the impact of august the impact of this continued behavior staying on this path will be many many many more new works what happened then. well there's no good solution we can chew thousand pay out some choices available to us that will result in you know repeal of short term economic pain if you look at ninety two point one sample what happens if the government allows those contractions to take place and in it.


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